Endangered monkeys

This List of Endangered Monkeys Highlights the Need for Conservation

We seldom think about monkeys when we talk about endangered animals, but one look at this list of endangered monkeys and you will be surprised to see the number of species that are fighting for their very existence on the planet.
A 'Critical' Situation
Of the 80 monkey species that are considered endangered, 28 are enlisted as critically endangered, meaning they face a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
As many as 80 species of monkeys are threatened by extinction as of today, and yet, these primates fail to make it to the headlines like tigers or rhinos. To some extent, this can be attributed to the fact that there are numerous species (and subspecies) of monkeys. In fact, most people may not even be aware of the existence of some of these monkey species.

There are approximately 260 known species of monkeys in the world, which are classified into two groups: (i) New World monkeys, found in Central and South America and parts of Mexico, and (ii) Old World monkeys, found in Africa and Asia. While some species are found in abundance in their natural habitat, some are more often seen in the list of critically endangered and endangered species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

IUCN Classification
On the basis of the relative risk of extinction, the IUCN classifies threatened species into different categories.
  • Critically endangered species (CR): Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Endangered species (EN): Very high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Vulnerable (VU): High risk of extinction in the wild*
*The species enlisted as vulnerable are the ones that are likely to become endangered.

List of Endangered Monkeys
  • Barbary Macaque
  • Barbary Macaque - Endangered
  • Celebes Crested Macaque
  • Celebes Crested Macaque - Critically Endangered
  • Colombian Spider Monkey
  • Colombian Spider Monkey - Critically Endangered
  • Cotton-top Tamarin
  • Cotton-top Tamarin - Critically Endangered
  • Red-shanked Douc
  • Red-shanked Douc - Endangered
  • Gee's Golden Langur
  • Gee's Golden Langur - Endangered
  • Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
  • Geoffroy's Spider Monkey - Endangered
  • Golden-headed Lion Tamarin
  • Golden-headed Lion Tamarin - Endangered
  • Lion-tailed Macaque
  • Lion-tailed Macaque - Endangered
  • Proboscis Monkey
  • Proboscis Monkey - Endangered
  • Toque Macaque
  • Toque Macaque - Endangered
  • Zanzibar Red Colobus
  • Zanzibar Red Colobus - Endangered
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CR
Critically Endangered
EN
Endangered

SpeciesScientific NameRangeStatus
Arunachal MacaqueMacaca munzalaArunachal Pradesh, India
EN
Barbara Brown's TitiCallicebus barbarabrownaeCaatinga, Brazil
CR
Barbary MacaqueMacaca sylvanusAlgeria, Morocco, and Gibraltar
EN
Black Bearded SakiChiropotes satanasBrazilian Amazon
CR
Black Lion TamarinLeontopithecus chrysopygusSão Paulo, Brazil
EN
Black Snub-nosed MonkeyRhinopithecus bietiChina
EN
Black-headed Spider MonkeyAteles fuscicepsColombia, Nicaragua, and Panama
CR
Black-shanked DoucPygathrix nigripesVietnam and Cambodia
EN
Blond CapuchinCebus flaviusNortheastern Brazil
CR
Brown Spider MonkeyAteles hybridusColombia and Venezuela
CR
Buffy-headed MarmosetCallithrix flavicepsSouth-eastern Brazil
EN
Caquetá TitiCallicebus caquetensisColombia
CR
Celebes Crested MacaqueMacaca nigraSulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia
CR
Coimbra Filho's TitiCallicebus coimbraiBahia and Sergipe, Brazil
EN
Colombian Woolly MonkeyLagothrix lugensColombia and Venezuela
CR
Cotton-top TamarinSaguinus oedipusNorthwestern Colombia
CR
Delacour's LangurTrachypithecus delacouriVietnam
CR
DrillMandrillus leucophaeusNigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea
EN
Dryas MonkeyCercopithecus dryasCongo Basin
CR
François' LangurTrachypithecus francoisiSouthwestern China to northeastern Vietnam
EN
Gee's Golden LangurTrachypithecus geeiIndia (i.e., the state of Assam) and Bhutan
EN
Geoffroy's Spider MonkeyAteles geoffroyiCentral America and Mexico
EN
Golden Lion TamarinLeontopithecus rosaliaBrazil
EN
Golden MonkeyCercopithecus kandtiCentral Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo
EN
Golden Snub-nosed MonkeyRhinopithecus roxellanaCentral and Southwest China
EN
Golden-bellied CapuchinCebus xanthosternosBolivia, Brazil, and Colombia
CR
Golden-headed Lion TamarinLeontopithecus chrysomelasBrazil
EN
Gray Snub-nosed MonkeyRhinopithecus brelichiChina
EN
Gray Woolly MonkeyLagothrix canaBolivia, Brazil, and Peru
EN
Gray-shanked DoucPygathrix cinereaVietnam
CR
Guatemalan Black HowlerAlouatta pigraBelize, Guatemala, and Mexico
EN
Hatinh LangurTrachypithecus hatinhensisVietnam
EN
Indochinese LutungTrachypithecus germainiThailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam
EN
Javan SuriliPresbytis comataWestern Java and Indonesia
EN
Kaapori CapuchinCebus kaaporiBrazil
CR
Kashmir Gray LangurSemnopithecus ajaxNorthern India and Nepal
EN
KipunjiRungwecebus kipunjiTanzania
CR
Lion-tailed MacaqueMacaca silenusWestern Ghats in southern India
EN
Maranhão Red-Handed HowlerAlouatta ululataCeará, Maranhão, and Piauí in Brazil
EN
Mentawai LangurPresbytis potenzianiMentawai Islands, Indonesia
EN
Moor MacaqueMacaca mauraSulawesi, Indonesia
EN
Myanmar Snub-nosed MonkeyRhinopithecus strykeriBurma (Myanmar)
CR
Niger Delta Red ColobusProcolobus epieniNiger Delta
CR
Northern MuriquiBrachyteles hypoxanthusBrazil
CR
Ollala Brothers' TitiCallicebus olallaeBolivia
EN
Pagai Island MacaqueMacaca pagensisMentawai Islands, Indonesia
CR
Pennant's ColobusProcolobus pennantiiEquatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and the Republic of the Congo
CR
Peruvian Spider MonkeyAteles chamekPeru, Brazil, and Bolivia
EN
Phayre's Leaf MonkeyTrachypithecus phayreiSoutheast Asia
EN
Pied TamarinSaguinus bicolorBrazilian Amazon
EN
Pig-tailed LangurSimias concolorMentawai Islands, Indonesia
CR
Preuss's MonkeyCercopithecus preussiNigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea
EN
Preuss's Red ColobusProcolobus preussiCross-Sanaga River Ecoregion, West-central Africa
CR
Proboscis MonkeyNasalis larvatusBorneo, Southeast Asia
EN
Purple-faced LangurSemnopithecus vetulusSri Lanka
EN
Red-shanked DoucPygathrix nemaeusVietnam and Laos
EN
Rio Beni TitiCallicebus modestusBolivia
EN
Rio Mayo TitiCallicebus oenanthePeru
CR
Roloway MonkeyCercopithecus rolowayCôte d'Ivoire and Ghana
EN
Sanje MangabeyCercocebus sanjeiTanzania
EN
Sarawak SuriliPresbytis chrysomelasBorneo in Southeast Asia
CR
Shortridge's LangurTrachypithecus shortridgeiBurma and China
EN
Southern MuriquiBrachyteles arachnoidesBrazil
EN
Sumatran SuriliPresbytis melalophosSumatra, Indonesia
EN
Superagui Lion TamarinLeontopithecus caissaraSoutheastern Brazil
CR
Tana River MangabeyCercocebus galeritusSoutheastern Kenya
EN
Thollon's Red ColobusProcolobus tholloniDR Congo and Republic of the Congo
EN
Tonkin Snub-nosed MonkeyRhinopithecus avunculusNorthern Vietnam
CR
Toque MacaqueMacaca sinicaSri Lanka
EN
Ugandan Red ColobusProcolobus tephroscelesUganda and Tanzania
EN
Uta Hick's Bearded SakiChiropotes utahickaeBrazil
EN
Uzungwa Red ColobusProcolobus gordonorumTanzania
EN
Western Red ColobusProcolobus badiusWestern Africa
EN
White-cheeked Spider MonkeyAteles marginatusBrazil
EN
White-footed TamarinSaguinus leucopusColombia
EN
White-fronted Spider MonkeyAteles belzebuthColombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil
EN
White-headed LangurTrachypithecus poliocephalusVietnam and China
CR
White-nosed SakiChiropotes albinasusBrazilian Amazon
EN
Yellow-tailed Woolly MonkeyOreonax flavicaudaPeru
CR
Zanzibar Red ColobusProcolobus kirkiiZanzibar Archipelago
EN

Vulnerable Species
Like we said earlier, those species that are likely to become endangered are classified as vulnerable species. Sadly, the list of vulnerable monkeys is nearly as long as that of the endangered species. So, if proper conservation measures are not implemented at the earliest, the list of endangered species will become twice as long in the near future.

SpeciesScientific NameRange
Aracá UakariCacajao ayresiiNorthwest Brazilian Amazon
Atlantic TitiCallicebus personatusBrazil
Bald UakariCacajao calvusBrazil and Peru
Bale Mountains VervetChlorocebus djamdjamensisBale Mountains, Ethiopia
Black ColobusColobus satanasCameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon
Black TamarinSaguinus nigerBrazil
Black-footed Gray LangurSemnopithecus hypoleucosSouthern India
Booted MacaqueMacaca ochreataSulawesi Island, Indonesia
Brown Woolly MonkeyLagothrix lagotrichaColombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil
Brumback's Night MonkeyAotus brumbackiColombia
Buffy-tufted MarmosetCallithrix auritaSoutheast Brazil
Capped LangurTrachypithecus pileatusBangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, India, and Myanmar
Central American Squirrel MonkeySaimiri oerstediiPacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama
Coastal Black-handed TitiCallicebus melanochirBrazil
Coiba Island HowlerAlouatta coibensisPanama
Collared MangabeyCercocebus torquatusNigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon
Colombian Black-handed TitiCallicebus medemiColombia
Diana MonkeyCercopithecus dianaSierra Leone to Ivory Coast in Africa
Goeldi's MarmosetCallimico goeldiiAmazon Basin (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru)
Gorontalo MacaqueMacaca nigrescensSulawesi Island, Indonesia
Gray-bellied Night MonkeyAotus lemurinusColombia, Argentina, Ecuador, and Panama
Gray-handed Night MonkeyAotus griseimembraColombia and Venezuela
Hamlyn's MonkeyCercopithecus hamlyniCongo
Heck's MacaqueMacaca heckiSulawesi, Indonesia
Hose's LangurPresbytis hoseiBorneo in Southeast Asia
Javan LutungTrachypithecus auratusJava, Indonesia
King ColobusColobus polykomosIvory Coast, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
L'Hoest's MonkeyCercopithecus lhoestiCongo Basin
Laotian LangurTrachypithecus laotumLaos
MandrillMandrillus sphinxCameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo
Natuna Island SuriliPresbytis natunaeNatuna Besar Island, Indonesia
Neblina UakariCacajao hosomiAmazon Rainforests of Brazil and Venezuela
Nilgiri LangurTrachypithecus johniiNilgiri Hills, South India
Northern Pig-tailed MacaqueMacaca leoninaBangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam
Ornate TitiCallicebus ornatusColombia
Peruvian Night MonkeyAotus miconaxPeru
Red-eared GuenonCercopithecus erythrotisCameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria
Red-faced Spider MonkeyAteles paniscusBrazil, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana
Red-handed HowlerAlouatta belzebulSoutheastern Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Roosmalens' Dwarf MarmosetCallibella humilisAmazon Rainforest, Brazil
Sclater's GuenonCercopithecus sclateriSouthern Nigeria
Siberut MacaqueMacaca siberuSiberut Island, Indonesia
Silvery Woolly MonkeyLagothrix poeppigiiBrazil, Ecuador and Peru
Sooty MangabeyCercocebus atysBurkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone
Southern Pig-tailed MacaqueMacaca nemestrinaMalay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and Bangka Island (Southeast Asia)
Stump-tailed MacaqueMacaca arctoidesSouth Asia
Sun-tailed MonkeyCercopithecus solatusGabon
Thomas's LangurPresbytis thomasiNorth Sumatra, Indonesia
Tonkean Black MacaqueMacaca tonkeanaSulawesi Island, Indonesia
Ursine ColobusColobus vellerosusBenin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, and Burkina Faso
White MarmosetMico leucippeBrazil
White-footed SakiPithecia albicansBrazil
White-fronted SuriliPresbytis frontataIndonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei
White-throated GuenonCercopithecus erythrogasterRainforests of Nigeria and Benin

Why Are Monkeys Endangered?
Of late, environmentalists have noticed that the population of quite a few species is on a decline. What is more disturbing is the rate at which their number has been declining over the last decade or so. In most cases, the decline can be primarily attributed to the following factors.

Excessive Hunting
Several monkey species, including the Roloway and Pennant's Red Colobus found in Africa, are excessively hunted for their meat. On the other hand, species like the Miss Waldron's Red Colobus and Mt. Uarges Guereza―a subspecies of Mantled Guereza―are hunted extensively for their skin, which has a great demand in the international market.

Loss of Habitat
Human encroachment has resulted in destruction of habitat for several monkey species. Illegal logging, land clearance for agriculture, expanding human settlements, and other such factors are causing their natural habitat to deplete at an alarming rate. While habitat loss leaves them homeless and vulnerable, fragmentation of habitat makes it difficult for them to breed.

Other Factors
It may come as a surprise, but the practice of killing monkeys for the use of their various body parts in traditional medicine continues unabated even today. Also on rise is the practice of keeping them as pets. In a bid to capture these monkeys for pet trade, hunters use snares, which leave them injured―if not trapped, eventually resulting in their death.

Going by the rate at which this list is growing, it wouldn't be long before we witness many more extinctions. If the aforementioned factors responsible for the decline in monkey population are not curbed soon, these species, which feature in the endangered monkeys list as of today, will soon be added to the list of the extinct animals, thus leaving the planet devoid of some of the most interesting members of kingdom Animalia.